Editorial – 12 Aug 2020

The current buzzword is schools. Will they re-open in September? Will this increase the virus rate around the country? Will they need to wear masks in school? Will the new test & trace app be ready in time? More importantly, will the test & trace app be working to the capacity needed? So many questions and so few answers. It is hard to say what our situation will be like in September. I find it a little disconcerting that I can’t answer my son’s questions whether he will be back at school. I’m used to having answers, or a plan at the very least. I don’t like not knowing what’s going on.

Our children’s education is important for our future economy. There is no actual evidence of schools increasing transmission for the virus, according to an upcoming report by Public Health England which says that children are less likely to become very poorly from coronavirus compared to adults. However, the role they play in helping to spread the virus is not so clear. A review of 18 studies suggests that children could be half as likely as adults to pass on the virus.

I have a vested interest in the above. My son misses the social aspect and he was not happy learning from home. As a parent, I want my child to get the best possible education and develop skills needed for adult life. But if another national lockdown threatens to affect schools again, then we need to find a better way of helping our children learn from those who are qualified to teach, such as hosting Zoom classes or similar. I found that my knowledge in certain areas were woefully lacking, but my excuse is that its been 34 years since I left school!

 

On another note, I’ve been watching a BBC visual on how working life could be affected in the future and I found it very interesting. Even if coronavirus is majorly wiped out, architects are already planning the way forward to help our working society remain functional.

The main focus could be on working from home with visits to the office being staggered. A trip to the office could be just for face to face meetings. Offices could end up being much smaller with less rent and bills to pay. You might need your body temperature and face scanned before you enter the building. There could be much wider corridors, anti-microbial furniture and partitioned offices. Hot-desking will be consigned to the past. Even high-rise buildings may no longer be sustainable. It’s a different future to one we previously imagined. The question is, just how different will it need to be? What do you think? To watch the visual, click here.

BHCR will be taking a break from 15 August and will be updated again from 1 September.

Lin Mason
Associate
Brunswicks Law Limited

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